Burning pain and itching governed by same nerve cells

November 04, 2010

There are disorders and conditions that entail increased itching and can be extremely troublesome for those suffering from it. The mechanisms behind itching are not well understood today. For one thing, what is it about scratching that relieves itching?

In the current study, which was performed on mice, the research team led by Professor Klas Kullander at the Department of Neuroscience examined the nerve cells that transfer heat pain. When these nerve cells had lost its capacity to signal, the mice reacted less to heat, as expected, but surprisingly they also started to itch incessantly.

"These findings link together pain from a burn with regulating sensitivity to itching, which was highly surprising and interesting," says Klas Kullander.

Extreme itching is very unpleasant and difficult to treat. For example, it is a common complication following operations and burns. Eczema and other skin disorders can also lead to general itchiness. Greater knowledge of the underlying factors paves the way for developing new forms of treatment for itching, for example, activating pain fibers to reduce itching, which is supported by these findings.

"In the long run, and with the help of more research, we will hopefully be able to fully elucidate what nerve fibers conduct the itching itself, and then we will be able to extinguish the itch at the source," says Klas Kullander.
-end-
Reference: Malin C. Lagerström, Katarzyna Rogoz, Bjarke Abrahamsen, Emma Persson,Björn Reinius,Karin Nordenankar,Caroline Ölund,Casey Smith,José Alfredo Mendez,Zhou-Feng Chen,John N. Wood, Åsa Wallén-Mackenzie, Klas Kullander. VGLUT2-Dependent Sensory Neurons in the TRPV1 Population Regulate Pain and Itch, Neuron, Volume 68, Issue 3, 529-542.

Uppsala University

Related Nerve Cells Articles from Brightsurf:

Nerve cells let others "listen in"
How many ''listeners'' a nerve cell has in the brain is strictly regulated.

Nerve cells with energy saving program
Thanks to a metabolic adjustment, the cells can remain functional despite damage to the mitochondria.

Why developing nerve cells can take a wrong turn
Loss of ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme leads to impediment in growth of nerve cells / Link found between cellular machineries of protein degradation and regulation of the epigenetic landscape in human embryonic stem cells

Unique fingerprint: What makes nerve cells unmistakable?
Protein variations that result from the process of alternative splicing control the identity and function of nerve cells in the brain.

Ragweed compounds could protect nerve cells from Alzheimer's
As spring arrives in the northern hemisphere, many people are cursing ragweed, a primary culprit in seasonal allergies.

Fooling nerve cells into acting normal
In a new study, scientists at the University of Missouri have discovered that a neuron's own electrical signal, or voltage, can indicate whether the neuron is functioning normally.

How nerve cells control misfolded proteins
Researchers have identified a protein complex that marks misfolded proteins, stops them from interacting with other proteins in the cell and directs them towards disposal.

The development of brain stem cells into new nerve cells and why this can lead to cancer
Stem cells are true Jacks-of-all-trades of our bodies, as they can turn into the many different cell types of all organs.

Research confirms nerve cells made from skin cells are a valid lab model for studying disease
Researchers from the Salk Institute, along with collaborators at Stanford University and Baylor College of Medicine, have shown that cells from mice that have been induced to grow into nerve cells using a previously published method have molecular signatures matching neurons that developed naturally in the brain.

Bees can count with just four nerve cells in their brains
Bees can solve seemingly clever counting tasks with very small numbers of nerve cells in their brains, according to researchers at Queen Mary University of London.

Read More: Nerve Cells News and Nerve Cells Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.